March 30, 2008

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

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I'm having a quiet Sunday but there's lots of busy bloggers out there today:

-Nymeth is celebrating and giving books away.

-Justine Picardie is guest blogging tomorrow at Dovegreyreading. Remember, she wrote that Daphne DuMaurier novel? I'm staring at the mailbox waiting for my copy.

-Aquatique has a really interesting post about breaking up over books. Check it out.

And myself, I'm reading Hawaii and Mansfield Park today. Plus, DA-TA-DADA, I opened my own Esty shop here. I only have 2 items now but plan to add more throughout the week. I'm pretty excited out it.

Have a great Sunday!

March 27, 2008

Covering Up: BTT

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Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching f
or it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


Does it effect my reading enjoyment? Not really. Right now I'm reading Hawaii by James Michener and the cover is hideous. It looks like a Hawaii tourism poster from the 1960's. It doesn't reflect the book at all, which is really good. I admit that I wished I could have found a better copy but since this was for my bookclub, I took what I could get.

Here are some ugly covers on good books. Luckily none of these are on my bookshelves.

Softcovers are easier to read because they aren't as clunky as hardcovers.
I haven't really thought about fonts, so I guess that doesn't matter much.

March 26, 2008

Wordless: Bejeweled

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More Wordless

March 25, 2008

Bookshelving 101

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Andi commented on an NY Times article (about another article) on bookshelf etiquette. It was a rather tongue in cheek but the author's #1 rule caused some hubbub:

It is unacceptable to display any book in a public space of your home if you have not read it.

Srly!? What book snobbery! Imagine all the unread books relegated to closet shelves and pushed under beds. Poor books.

After some thought on the subject, I decided that the rule doesn't apply to us crazy book bloggers and friends of book bloggers. Like Jennifer Schuessler, more than 60% of my books are unread. I'm a book hoarder. I too collect books to read at some other point in time. Maybe not tomorrow but at some later date, possibly even a few years from now. I liked how Jennifer put it:

"an insurance policy against the day when electronic readers have taken over, all the world’s bookstores have gone out of business, and I have to barricade my door against virus-infested zombies who want to drink my blood and ravage my (unread) copy of “Daniel Deronda.” "

You just never know. But honestly I can't pass a "Sale" sign at the book store, or the library. $1 for War and Peace is a good deal when you consider the size of the thing.

I think the author of the original article was referring to those people who use books as ornamentation. They never actually plan on reading those books. They're there for show. Maybe he's afraid of being lumped into that category. I wouldn't be ashamed to say, "Haven't read it yet" about any of my books, because I am going to read them all. And yes I have read War & Peace but you won't find it on my bookshelves because it takes up valuable bookshelf space. It's just too honking big! It went directly to the used bookstore.

I've had my own book shelf war at home though. We bought a lovely bookcase for an empty corner of our living room. I thought, "Yay! More books." Hubby (the non-reader) thought, "Good, a place for all those darn knick knacks she has." I started piling the books upon it and was stopped by the hubby. He was probably afraid of the crazed look in my eye. He made up his own public space bookshelf rules:
-No paperbacks
-Only the 'pretty' books (sorry jacketless, tattered copy of Roots)
-A few of his engineering books had to make it onto the shelf. I guess to show that he has read at some point.

Well, it is his house too. I've been pretty good at keeping this bookshelf looking respectable. My private stash is something else. It's 3 rows deep. If a book can fit in a space, it will be filled. There is no rhyme or reason to how they are arranged. The shelves sag. Paperbacks and hardcovers live in harmony, read and unread alike.

So. How are your books displayed?

March 23, 2008

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover: Review

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50 Ways to Hex Your Lover is a paranormal romance, so leave your disbelief at the door. It's pure escapist fun. Jazz is a 700 year old witch who wears her clothes tight and drives her classic, haunted car fast. Jazz is just an ordinary working girl. She drives 'special' clients for a car service and is paid well. Still, she always seems to be broke and looking for a quick way to make cash. After a successful curse elimination job, she runs into her old flame, vampire Nick Gregory. Words, and fire balls, are exchanged but not before Nick reveals that vampires are disappearing and fears a Dorian Gray-ish character named Clive Reeves is behind it. Jazz finds herself facing an old nemesis and a situation that requires all her power and more.

5o Ways to Hex Your Lover is filled with an assortment of the strangest kinds of creatures dwarfs, ghosts, a pair of man-eating bunny slippers and a big smelly...something. Every character has their own bizarre quirks, which keeps the story quite entertaining. There is so much going on in this story though, that I felt that some of the romantic storyline between Jazz and Nick was lost. Still, they had time for a little something-something during this fun ride.

March 22, 2008

Eggs-cellent!

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Sorry, couldn't help myself. Does anyone know how long boiled eggs will keep unrefridgerated? We made these last week from regular food colour (10 drops), a cup of water and 1 Tbsp of vinegar. A clear wax crayon was used for the designs. Simple and fun.

Happy Easter!!!!

March 21, 2008

Novella Challenge Picks

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I finally decided on my picks for the Novella Challenge. If you don't remember, the rules are read 6 novellas (100-250 pgs) between April and September 2008.

  1. Lesley Castle: Jane Austen
  2. Stardust: Neil Gaiman
  3. Fahrenheit 451: Ray Bradbury
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany's: Truman Capote
  5. The Lifted Veil: George Eliot
  6. Summer: Edith Wharton
I've been looking forward to reading these for awhile and now I have the perfect reason to take them off the TBR list.

March 20, 2008

Endings: Booking Through Thursday

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You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?

(Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


Hmm...Well, I stretch and yawn first. I guess it depends on the book. If it's a good one, I usually wander around in a reading stupor. I feel all fuzzy headed and I'm still thinking of all that happened in the book. I think about what the characters did after the end, what I want for them, how I would have ended the book. All that jazz.

If it wasn't so good, or *shutter* terrible, I may want to pick up something totally different to scrub my brain.

Lately, the first thing I do after finishing a book is blog about it!

March 19, 2008

Wordless: Moss

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More Wordless

March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day

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I must have had the luck of the Irish on the weekend because I won Daphne from the Bronte Blog. Looking forward to reading this book based on Daphne DuMaurier's life. I also won a book from LASR, though I'm not sure which Lynsay Sands book it is. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket while I'm on a roll.

For your Irish pleasure, here's a couple of interesting things:
-Chris tells us about a New Orleans cabbage pelting tradition.
-An article entitled Dublin for the Reader. James Joyce Cultural Centre sounds....er....fun?
-The History Channel has a beautiful looking webpage for the history of St Patrick's Day.

Enjoy and have a
Happy St Patrick's Day!!!

March 14, 2008

Thanks & Poetry

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I didn't have time to collect any links this week. It's amazing what can get done in the few hours the kid is in school. Anyway, John is sending me Coureurs de Bois by Bruce MacDonald since I won the Canadian Book Challenge giveaway this week. No it's not in French. Thanks, John.

Today is poetry Friday and this is one I can understand. Jama Rattigan is asking people for they're favorite Bob Dylan lyrics. I find Bob hard to listen to but he's written so much you're bound to run into his lyrics somewhere. I enjoy Sheryl Crow's version of Mississippi. Here's my favorite part:

Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drownin' in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothin' but affection for all those who've sailed with me

Copyright 1997 Special Rider Music


March 13, 2008

BTT: The Big Red Pen

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Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by John :

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


I'm in a cranky mood, so I hope that doesn't effect my answer.

Most writers have a plan when they start writing a book. Usually I go along with this plan, they seem to know what they're doing. If the story doesn't go the way I wanted it but still has some logic, then I'm okay with that. As long as the ending doesn't feel phony or like the author just gave up.

I do have a problem with bad grammar. It makes it very difficult to concentrate. Henry James might be readable if someone had taken a red pen to all those run on sentences. The story of The Wings of the Dove has an interesting premise, but I just couldn't get over the sentences that went on for whole paragraphs. I felt that he set out to annoy the reader.

The only other book I can think of is Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand intended to beat us over the head with her philosophy. Twenty page speeches are fine if you're writing a text book but as a novel it didn't do it for me. Subtle, Rand is not.

I actual feel a little bit better! Great question to let me vent a little, even if it has nothing to do with why I'm so p*ssed off. I'm sure my editor-in-chief is different from your editor-in-chief that's why some of the greatest writers struggled with rejection for ages before being published. It's all a matter of opinion what's good, what's bad.

March 12, 2008

Wordless: Winter Boardwalk

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March 11, 2008

My Life

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First, I hate 'Springing Ahead'. I had a headache for 2 days because of the time change. My body can't adjust. Second, this week is kinda crazy. It's March break and I'm trying to entertain a 5 year old, meet my reading commitments, set up an Etsy shop and take over the wor... never mind. So if I don't reply to comments right away don't be offended.

While resting at stop lights, I did think of a few 6 Word Memoirs, as I was tagged by Stephanie last week.

The Six Word Memoir

"As I read yet another book review of a memoir this weekend, my husband told me that I should write one. I said that my story would be much too short and rather boring so when I ran across the following book I decided it was just my speed. A six word memoir! Written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Expecting: Six Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure is a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn. There’s a video on Amazon with examples from the book, it sounds like a fun read! I’d like to start a six word memoir meme and here are the rules:"

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4 .Tag five more blogs with links
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Here's mine:
There's no 'pause' on this thing!

And a bonus

Fact: No two snowflakes are alike.
Picnic? You'd better plan for rain.

CB is the place for me.

Tagging:
Other Chris- Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
Charity- Writing Wrongs
Susan- Writer's Tale
Andi- Tripping Through Lucidity
Trish- Reading Nook

I hope you all haven't played yet. I'd be interested to read what you'd write.

Speaking of Chris. He asked the question on his blog: What’s your favorite book or books in your library? Not necessarily the title, but the book itself.

Interesting question. I love my old copy of Wuthering Heights. It was on my parents' shelf while I was growing up. The artwork is so dark and gothic. It fits the story. I'm always reminded of the dark days of late fall when I first read it whenever I look at it.



Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination was a Christmas gift from my parents when I was a kid. The coloured Illustrations are beautiful.





On a totally different topic, I also love my pink copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations Of Comfort & Joy. All those Victorian ideas and pictures. It's just pretty to look through.

March 9, 2008

Anne of Windy Poplars (#4): Review

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In the fourth of the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Windy Poplars, our heroine Anne Shirley graduated university and gained a position as principal of Summerside High School. Anne's on her own. She has to make new friends in a new town. Not much of a problem for Anne, you might think, but she finds herself in hostile territory. The town is run by a family named Pringle and Summerside is lousy with Pringles. The Pringles are a clannish group who have a passive aggressive way of running people they don't like out of town. Poor Anne unknowingly took the post of principal from...a Pringle. Somehow (I won't say how) Anne gets the Pringles on her side just when she's about to give it all up. Anne goes on to make friends of nearly every odd character she runs across, until her three years are up and she heads back to Avonlea.

Told mostly through letters to Gilbert, the book's full of Anne's peppy optimism. Anne vows to find the good in everyone, making the reader think that even the most surly curmudgeon has a warm, fuzzy side. The townspeople are often caricatures of small town folk. The nosies, the talkers, the 'old blood'. Sometimes it gets a bit much but I recognized people I know in the characters. Montgomery's pen is sharp but there's love in her writing.

I love reading the Anne series. I'm not sure Anne of Windy Poplars can be considered a children's book. Anne's a young woman in her twenties tackling the working world. Montgomery is probably one of the most recognizable Canadian authors. Her books are such fun to read with beautifully written prose. When I think of CanLit now, I can't help thinking, where did it turn a 180? There's great writing, sure, but finding a happy ending in a modern Canadian novel is like finding a needle in a haystack. What a bunch of downers we've become. If John took requests for the Wednesday Compare, I'd suggest he pit Montgomery against Atwood: Optimist vs Pessimist.

Book #5 for the Canadian Book Challenge, and also Raidergirl's choice for The Something About Me Challenge.
4/5

March 6, 2008

I need a Hero: BTT

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Booking Through Thursday

You should have seen this one coming … Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?
Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


There are so many! For swashbuckling adventure, I love Edmund Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo. Just an average Joe, who's tossed into prison for life, learns the 'art of war'- sort of speak, escapes, acquires unimaginable wealth, plots needlessly complicated revenge and proceeds carrying it out. You know, like anyone would.

Then there's Jamie Fraser (sigh) from Outlander who I'm sure will be on many lists. A leader of men, a lover of woman (Claire). He's the guy to go to when the chips are down.

There's the unassuming, quiet man of justice, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He's raising two kids alone in a town of racial prejudice and trying to teach them right from wrong. Atticus's best lesson is for everyone to walk around in someone else's skin before making judgements.

I'm sure I could go on forever, but there's only so many hours in this gorgeous day.

March 5, 2008

Winter Bazaar: Flower Hair Clip

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Scribbit (Michelle) continues her Winter Bazaar. I ran out of ideas ages ago. I'm impressed that Michelle seems to have a never ending supply of them.

I did think of this one though. Something pretty for spring: Flower Hair Clip.


You need a bouquet of silk flowers (Dollarama)
A pair of wire cutters
floral tape
hair clips (spring loaded)

Cut a single flower with stem long enough to lay across the length of the clip. Wrap floral tape around and around the clip and stem to hold in place. Continue wrapping floral tape around the entire clip. See photo below.
For more ideas, visit the Winter Bazaar.

March 3, 2008

Monday, Monday

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If I'm not blogging much this week, it's because I have an idea up my sleeve and I will be reading. No, honest I will!

Teddy tagged me for 6 Unimportant things about myself. Thanks Teddy!

The rules are:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry.
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs

Hmmm...

1. I have chocolate everyday (sometimes just a smidgeon).
2. I'm always cold.
3. I'm a neat freak.
4. I hate raisins but love Hot Cross Buns (yeah, I pick the raisins out).
5. I hate crowds.
6. (Just realized I missed one) I love fluffy socks.

Not mind blowing but unimportant. I'm cheating and skipping 4&5. The kid will be home any minute.

In other news, I'm joining the Novella Challenge hosted by Trish. It's a light one. 6 novellas from April-September 2008. I think I can handle that. I just have to pick my six...